“Progress is not enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be.” – Kahlil Gibran, author and poet

Over the last few years, we’ve spent a lot of time planning for Osler’s future. Not only have we developed new Strategic and Clinical Priorities Plans to guide how we will deliver health care programs and services in the community, we have also given careful thought to where this care will be provided.

We have made tremendous progress in setting the stage for the revitalization and expansion of our hospitals and now we’re ready to celebrate one of the biggest milestones to date.

Construction on the new Peel Memorial Centre for Integrated Health and Wellness is set to begin this summer! This achievement was made possible by the extraordinary support of the community, a strong commitment from our government and municipal partners and the dedication of Osler’s staff, physicians and volunteers.

You are invited to be part of this momentous event in Peel Memorial’s redevelopment journey. On Wednesday, June 25 we will be hosting a special public event to celebrate our progress on the site of the new Peel Memorial. We expect a number of dignitaries, as well as government officials and community members to attend the event.

We will recognize Osler’s achievements and accomplishments from the past year as part of our Annual General Meeting, celebrate the progress made in revitalizing the new Peel Memorial, and recognize the vision and support of a community that helped to bring a second state-of-the-art hospital to Brampton and the surrounding area.

We are also looking forward to hosting a small Health and Wellness Fair during the event. Staff from across the organization will be manning booths to help raise awareness of some of the programs and services offered at Peel Memorial. Stop by the Diabetes Education booth to try a healthy smoothie, test your balance with Wii Fit at the Physiotherapy booth and get your blood pressure checked by Osler’s Geriatric Outreach team!

We’re also moving full steam ahead on our plans to renovate and expand Etobicoke General Hospital. It was a full house at last week’s Town Hall meeting where staff, physicians and volunteers learned more about the projects currently underway and work that will be undertaken over the next 12 to 24 months to prepare Etobicoke General for the addition of the new four-storey wing and the eventual full-scale redevelopment of the site.

Our plans for the future are ambitious and I have no doubt that with the continued support of our Osler family, community and government partners, we will be celebrating many more milestones in the years ahead.

“To care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest honors.” – Tina Walker

June is Seniors’ Month across Ontario and this year’s theme is “Aging Without Boundaries.” It’s a theme that resonates with me, not just because I’m getting older, but because I see the value in moving beyond our boundaries. That’s where the magic happens and that’s how we can give our patients the best care possible.

During our last fiscal year, more than 36,000 seniors entered our emergency departments. Those visits account for almost 20 per cent of our total ED visits throughout the year, and as our community changes – grows and ages – it is important that our services and programs keep pace so we can provide the care that is needed.

As an organization, we are truly committed to caring for those who once cared for us, and this couldn’t be more evident through our Seniors Programs. We’ve enhanced and expanded some of our inpatient and outpatient services for seniors – offering them more convenient access and integrated care.

Senior focused units such as Post Acute Short Stay Unit (PASSU) and Acute Care of Elders Unit (ACE) help our elderly patients maintain their independence while achieving specialized care through our hospitals.

Geriatric Emergency Management (GEM) Nurses at both of our EDs help assess seniors who may need extra care and support when they go home. As a result, we are able to reduce the number of repeat visits seniors make to our EDs.

Osler also holds a NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Health system Elders) designation, a testament to our commitment to elder care excellence. We are working toward achieving Level 4 NICHE designation, an accomplishment I know we will achieve.

Our Geriatric Psychiatry program is the only one of its kind in our LHIN, providing access to special age-oriented treatment in an appropriate setting.

Seniors’ Month recognizes the contributions seniors have made to their community and the contributions they are still making every day across Ontario. Our goal is to help them maintain the best quality of life possible through the care we provide.

I hope you had a chance to drop-in to one health fairs that we’ve hosted throughout the month. If not, there are still a few you can participate in: One at our Brampton Civic location today from 10:00 until 2:00pm, and another one at Etobicoke General on June 27 from 10:00 until 2:00pm.

We are witnessing unparalleled growth of the senior’s population in our LHIN and our enhanced services are enriching the lives of seniors.

MORE: Quiz time! How much do you know about living options for seniors?

“End of the spring and here she comes back, those summer days.” – Hot Fun in the Summertime, Sly and the Family Stone

It’s the time when we fire up the grill, pack our winter gear away for another year and finally break out our summer clothes. I’ve certainly taken advantage of the warm weather to clean up my garden and take care of some long overdue yard work.

While many of us look forward to spending time with family and friends during the warm summer weekends, members of the Osler family are taking care of the community. Working on weekends comes with the territory of being a health care professional and we are thankful for the commitment of front-line staff, physicians, volunteers and those working behind the scenes to support exemplary patient care at Osler.

Summer weekends are among the busiest times at Osler, especially in our emergency departments (ED), which continue to be among the busiest in Ontario. In fact, we saw a five per cent increase in ED activity over the last year as more than 204,000 patients came through our doors. We also saw an uptick in inpatient activity as many patients begin their journey in the ED before being admitted to acute care units, putting additional pressures on all parts of the hospital.

For many people in the community, the ED is the gateway to health care and as more patients come through our doors the impacts are felt across Osler. More patients mean more diagnostic images, laboratory tests and allied health services are required to support frontline staff as they continue provide efficient, high quality patient care.

As our patient volumes continue to grow, we’re building relationships with health care partners in the community so patients can get the right care, in the right place, at the right time. We’ve made it easy for patients to find information about health care options by posting it to our website.

And coming this summer, patients will have access to this information right in the palms of their hands as we launch our first-ever mobile app. HosNav will provide patients with tools to help them navigate Osler hospitals and pre-appointment processes from their mobile device. We’re looking forward to launching this app and to connecting with patients in this new and exciting way. The app will be available through Apple’s iTunes store and we will let you know when it is ready for download.